Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo: A Coffee Experience Beyond Your Wildest Beans



Starbucks Reserve®  Roastery Tokyo: A Coffee Experience Beyond Your Wildest Beans

While you’ve probably been to a Starbucks, Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo will wow you in all new ways. Not only is it one of only six roasteries of its kind in the world (the other five are in Shanghai, Milan, New York, Seattle and Chicago), but the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo also stands alone as the only Starbucks Reserve® Roastery built from scratch. The distinctively wooden exterior was designed by leading Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, and the interior by Starbucks’ own team of designers. Located in the trendy Nakameguro neighborhood, this coffee wonderland is the perfect place to enjoy not just expertly-roasted brew, but also freshly baked pastries, irresistible focaccia sandwiches, or a coffee cocktail or two.

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    Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo

    Upon entering the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo, the sight of the copper cask that stands four storeys high in the middle of the building is arresting. This hand-hammered metal tower is the beating heart of the roastery, storing the coffee beans roasted on-site. A nod to Nakameguro’s sakura tree-lined river, over 2,000 copper sakura flowers dangle from the ceiling. The ceiling itself is inspired by origami, producing a playful interplay of light and dark by way of its varied texture. The walls are lined with coffee cards and rows of stacked teacups on the second floor.

  • 02

    Coffee Lovers’ Dreamland

    Each floor of the Roastery Tokyo has its own dedication, although you can take your drink to any of the four floors and two terraces.

    Whether you’re after cold brew, Chemex or French Press (to name just some of the brewing methods available), the first floor team of baristas is ready for your coffee needs. If you can’t decide which of the roasts to try, flights of coffee from different farms and regions are also available to taste and compare.

    At multiple points throughout the day, beans are roasted on-site and transported around the building through a helter-skelter of pneumatic tubes. There’s a certain magic in watching this process take place from bean to cup and smelling the fragrance of coffee in the air.

    A site of innovation, Roastery Tokyo leads the way for other Starbucks branches across Japan. Try the beautifully fragrant Barrel-Aged Cold Brew, one of Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo's signature drinks. Poured over ice in a square glass, it actually gives off a whiskey aroma due to the coffee beans being aged in whiskey barrels.

    Throughout the year, seasonal products are also available in store, such as sakura-inspired drinks in springtime.

  • 03

    Tea Paradise

    The focus of the second floor is tea, provided by Teavana. There are many loose-leaf infusions available – some exclusive to the Roastery – from Jasmine Dragon Pearls, to Strawberry Mint Oolong. Samples of each blend are also provided, so visitors can inhale the various aromas before selecting their favorite to enjoy.

    There are also signature drinks available all year round, such as Teavana™ Cream Soda Matcha. The matcha, powdered in a traditional grinder on display, adds light bitterness that cuts through the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream, adding a layer of depth, and Japanese twist, to this nostalgic kissaten staple.

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    Cap the Visit With a Coffee Cocktail

    A sophisticated space to enjoy both coffee and cocktails, the third floor Arriviamo bar invites visitors to enjoy alcoholic and alcoholic-free cocktails featuring the roastery’s own coffees and teas. Enjoy Reserve-exclusive drinks such as the Cold Brew Gin and Tonic, and the Serene Irish Coffee.

    The top floor Amu Inspiration Lounge provides a space for open discussion and even impromptu meetings.

    The top floor Amu Inspiration Lounge provides a space for open discussion and even impromptu meetings.

  • 05

    More Than Just a Coffee Shop

    From the moment you step through the wooden doors, there’s an undeniable buzz palpable at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo. There’s always a flurry of activity underway at the hands of the roasters, baristas and bakers alike, with a hive-like energy reminiscent of a magical factory. Coffee is crafted with the delicacy of potion-making, poured from gleaming copper-colored kettles and siphons with careful precision, and artisanal bread and pastries are freshly baked daily by the team at Milanese bakery Princi. Even for those to whom the bean doesn’t appeal, the enormous array of sweet treats and herbal infusions, as well as the immersive experience of the store itself, make the Roastery Tokyo a wonderland for any and all to enjoy.

    For those wishing to relive the roastery experience at home, you can buy bags of freshly roasted beans from the Coffee Scoop Bar on the first floor. Be sure to ask a barista about the optimal extraction method, advice about your purchase, or if you want to try before you buy. Tumblers, mugs, and a wide range of other Tokyo-exclusive merchandise are also available in this Retail Area – perfect gifts for friends and family, or a lasting memory of the roastery experience.

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    Things to Know Before You Go

    A short walk from either Nakameguro Station, Ikejiriohashi Station or Shinsen Station, the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo sits in the heart of the city. Unlike many other coffee spots in the city, the 7am opening time makes the Roastery an ideal place for early birds to enjoy morning pastries and coffee. For night owls, since it's open until 10 PM, enjoying cocktails at the Arriviamo™ Bar in the evening is also recommended.

    Normally you can just walk in and find a table, but during busier times (usually weekends) there is a check-in system. Head to the designated building next to the Roastery Tokyo, where you will scan a QR code with your smartphone. Enter your email address and number of guests into the easy-to-use multilingual system, and you will receive an email notification when you’re next in line to enter. In the meantime, enjoy the offerings of the neighborhood until your seats are available.

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    The Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo During Sakura Season

    As spring begins to bloom in Tokyo, the Nakameguro River and the Roastery Tokyo itself become extremely popular destinations for cherry blossom viewing. The comfort of the terrace is an ideal location to luxuriate in the pastel hues of this ephemeral flower, and this year, the roastery is proud to present an evening cherry blossom illumination to honor the season, as well as decorations such as the “Sakura Bottle Tower” on the fourth floor, adorned with real cherry blossoms.

    For coffee lovers, a Sakura Cream Latte will also be available, using red bean paste, cherry blossom, as well as cinnamon to create a delicately-sweet seasonal treat. The team at the Arriviamo Bar has also crafted a cherry blossom-themed cocktail, inspired by the sight of floating petals on the Nakameguro River. Combining Teavana’s Sakura Allure tea with lightly sparkling wine and a splash of pink liqueur, the exquisite cherry color of this drink is the perfect tipple for a twinkling spring evening aside the river.

    Nakameguro River’s and Reserve® Roastery Tokyo’s popularity leads to the busiest time for the roastery during sakura season. It’s impossible to walk in and get a seat, but fear not as there is a simple-to-use QR code system to help you get a spot. Customers are encouraged to head down to the roastery as early as they can, scan the QR code on the neighboring building along the river, and receive an email with their allotted timeslot.

    Only during sakura season, advanced reservation of the third-floor terrace is also available online. This is the way to ensure spectacular views of Nakameguro River and cherry blossoms below.

    Writer: Genie Harrison

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